Capt Judy fishing report Savannah 3-16

Captain Judy Helmey

Miss Judy Charters

Kicking Fish Tail Since 1956

124 Palmetto Drive

Savannah, Georgia 31410

912 897 4921 office

912 897 3460 fax
March 17, 2014

I am sorry I didn’t publish a March 10, 2014 fishing report! But I promise that I am now back on tract. With that being said here’s your March 17, 2014 fishing report and with that I would like to wish everyone a Happy St. Patrick’s Fishing Day!

Saltwater Inshore, Offshore, Blue Water fishing reports, Freshies Suggestions, and “Little Miss Judy’s Believe It or Not story! Thanks for Reading!

Fishing statement

To try to insure that fishing stays in the hearts that love it and to help the ones that are going too!

Fishing tools that you can use!

Back in the old days we didn’t have any sort of direction devices much less a fish finder. However, things have certainly changed. For those fishermen that want to be in the know way before stepping on to the deck of their boat, check these app options out!

Navionics Apps
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Wassaw sound App Georgia Broad river App South Carolina

List the number of fish that you see! Believe me, you might not see them, but it’s easy to see where they are going to be!


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Tybee Roads Georgia

Now it is time to check these apps out go to

Fishermen are always asking for any suggestions for helping them find fish. These apps offer great detail of the bottom, which is where you are going to find fish. After all, my father always used to say, “To catch a fish you must find them first!” It brings to light the phase, location, location, and location! All you have to do is load them up, study them, think like a fish, and then act like a fisherman!

Inshore Fishing Report

Cold Water Red Fish Dilemma
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This is what I we call, especially during cold water red fish catching times darn good stinking bait. This is a chunk of peeled prawn shrimp on a hook. We fished this bait naked using only a fluorocarbon leader and a single hook. There weren’t any floats involved. This bait was cast into place and we just let it sit. While it was just sitting this bait’s scent was sending “a come and eat me” calling card. The bottom line when targeting red fish during cold water times as a fisherman you have to think way outside the bait using box. This means don’t use what you normally do, go to the baits the looks and smell just like what these fish are most likely going to get to feed on during cold water times.

Not much going on in the inshore biting world when it comes to spotted sea trout and flounder, But here’s what I do know about the old cold water red fish…

For those that want to do a little inshore fishing in either your boat or ours…there is some action to be had….although it is going to sound a little strange…the first thing that you need to do is to stop off at your local seafood market. I suggest purchasing a few scallops, clams, blue crab parts, and large prawn shrimp. No we are not having a seafood platter for supper, although it is the makings, it’s for the fish. They could be having a seafood dinner. It seems that since we are dealing with cold water temperatures the bait fish are still hibernating. Scallops, clams, crabs, and shrimp do come in a shell and the scent they offer certainly does get the old red fish’s attention. And since you have gone out of your way to purchase such a fine array of seafood to offer the fish, if they don’t show, why not use it for yourself?

Inshore red fish patterns that could develop

The red fish is about your best fish to target inshore at the cold water time, because they do offer somewhat of a bite. The secret to catching cold water reds can by trying, but doable. The first thing that you have to do is find them, which to locate, you have to know where to look. If you are dealing with a high tide situation I suggest taking a look-see in any of those flooded marshes areas that have been frequent feeding places. Once you make the area decision I then suggest going into the fish watching mode. When the red fish feeds in the grass there are certain tell tail signs to look for. The number one is the tail up heads down feeding routine, which is where the fish does exactly that. When rooting around in the marsh grass the red fish’s head is pointed down while its tail just happily breaks the surface and in some cases sticks straight up out of the water. The more the red fish finds to eat down under the more the tail jolts and waves as it seriously crushes it findings.

Here’s your red fish sign!

When the red fish is making way through the grass and undeniable broken path is formed. It’s not a path to follow, but a trail to watch for. When water is up in the grass there is assumed movement from the water’s current and then there is red fish movement. Assumed movement could be motion of the water as it pushes up into the grass, which comes in patterns either from the deeper water waves or winds. Red fish movement goes against the patterns and it’s very noticeable. As a red fish maneuvers through the grass it, it bumps it causing the tops to move erratically. Regular water movement in the grass is signature and is basically in rhythm with the current that is pushing it. When the red fish is looking for something on the bottom it roots and when it finds something that makes way through the grass it goes into the chase mode. When this happens red fish moves are very noticeable and can be easily picked out of assumed water movement. To get your best chance at catching you must become a red fish watcher. And the old saying, “practice make prefect” comes into effect. The bottom line is when it comes to fishing or should I say catching during these cold water times, you need to be a watcher first in most cases to get your catch! No matter what it’s still a lot of fun!!
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Captain Ray Crawley of Miss Judy Charters shows us that fishing in the grass for red fish is the way to go, but only if you want the best chance at catching them! According to Captain Ray, “Casting into the grass and getting your cork tangled stops it from floating away from the strike zone.” This is especially a good idea when fishing an outgoing tide stage. I guess you could call this “anchoring you cork in place!” Call it what you want I call it “staying in the strike zone!” It is all leaning in cadence to the left. Now imagine a red fish plowing through it!

Once finding the red fish in the grass, what’s best to do?
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This is a fine trophy red fish making way and I was so close that I was almost afraid to take this shot. I thought when I took the picture that the clicking of the camera would be too loud. The red fish in the upper left of this picture has found something to eat on the bottom. As you can see its tails up heads down kind of a red fish feeding time! As you can see baiting the fish does work!

Baiting the red fish?

Over the years while fishing with my inshore captains as well as my father believe me I have learned a lot. Some of these suggestions are not believable, but no worries, if you try them you certainly don’t have to tell anyone. That is unless it works! My father used to do what I now call “Baiting the fish,” which is where he would basically back a live crab (remove the back)and then crack the body into four quarters and then throw the parts into different directions around our boat. Notice I didn’t say anything about where to place your hook, because this was what he called baiting the fish. And as a child I called it feeding the fish! According to my father placing crab parts around where you are fishing causes more feeding interest. The part I didn’t like as a child was where I could not speak much less make any moves in the boat. And believe me when you are about six years old being quiet is not part of you make up, but as you can imagine I did. Daddy made a game out of it, which sometimes worked at least when I thought about it.

After setting the stage, meaning creating a baiting field around you, you then hook up your so called bait, and cast it into place. When fishing in the grass placing the hook keeping the hook’s point buried in the bait is a very good idea. This way you will only catch the fish and not a mess of grass! Some captains prefer using the smallest of adjustable corks with short leaders between the sinker and the hook. This is where you cast your bait into to place and then lay your rod right on the gunnels. This way when the fish does take the bait you don’t try and set the hook, because you not holding the rod. Most of the time the fish does the job of getting hooked up and it was our job of trying to get the fish to the boat without getting tangled in the grass. Once a red fish is hooked up it knows that the grass stalks are its friend and it makes moves to use them to their best advantage.

Artificial reefs and Savannah Snapper Banks are the places not only go fish, but to catch them!

Inshore Sheepshead

A great reliable bite especially during the cold water times is going to be the Sheepshead also known as a convict. Sheepshead like the cold water and seem to all gather around the structure. The bridges in our area probably hold a very strong population of Sheepshead. The reason the bridges are so popular with Sheepshead is due to the fact that they provide this fish with lots of vertical structure. This is one fish that loves to hang and feed around areas such as this. Best time to fish these areas is going to be two hours before till two hour after the high tide stage. Once the water starts rushing out the sheepshead bite is not going to be as good. The best bait is going to be the purple back fiddler, which I am sure you are tired of hearing about, but it’s the bait that works. They also like small pieces of bugged out shrimp, green mussels, shucked oyster, clams, and barnacles.

When it comes to hooking up a sheepshead there is an old saying which goes like this: In order to catch a Sheepshead you have to set the hook right before they bite!” I know this sounds crazy, but it is so true. Once the Sheepshead inhales the fiddler or anything wrapped in a shell they crush it, spit out the loose shells, and then they eat the spoils. So therefore to catch you must set the hook between the crushing and spitting. It is as simple as that! Sounds like a good title for a country song!

Artificial reefs

These areas continue to amazing those that fish them. Artificial reefs located in less than 50 feet of water are holding lots of small black fish and sheepshead…reefs in deeper water holding large black sea bass.
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Please meet the Mark Fogarty fishing catching group!

Savannah Snapper Banks
I know grouper season doesn’t open until May 1 and in some cases fishermen don’t want to make that offshore run to the snapper banks. However, the bite is so good there is no reason to wait till May 1. If you want action, well it one of these drop you baited hook catch a fish almost every time, time of the year. I made the run and we caught…large black sea bass, trigger fish, vermilion snapper, red porgy, white bone porgy, knobbed porgy, grouper (which we immediately released) and many other bottom biters.

Captain “Triple Trouble” Steve Howell, Captain Deidra Jeffcoat, and Captain Kathy Brown (and of course me, Captain Judy, made an early in the season snapper banks run!

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Captain DeDar Jeffcoat is holding a nice black sea bass that Captain Triple Trouble Steve caught on his first drop at the snapper banks.

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Captain Judy Helmey showing off some of the fish that we caught while plain old bottom fishing at the banks.
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Captain Kathy Brown, Captain Triple Trouble Steve, and Captain DeDar Jeffcoat have what is called big fish catching smiles! Captain Steve caught this grouper while using a frozen Spanish sardine, which is better known in the fishing world as a grouper lollipop.

Gulf Stream

All I know is what I have heard and believe me there is enough catching going on in the blue waters to make this long ride worthwhile. The south ledge and the triple ledge have been great area to give your special trolling techniques for Wahoo a try. The Wahoo like horse ballyhoo rigged on black Ilanders. (Definitely old school baits!) Black fins have also been caught while using small dinks baits and cedar plugs. A white marlin was caught, fought, and released at the triple ledge. All I can say, “The wait is over and the blue water bite is only going to bet better!”

Freshies Report
Bennett Meinke of Greenville Wisconsin first sturgeon!
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Bennett’s first sturgeon! Nice fish and I just love his great hat!

Bill Vanderford is “Lake Lanier’s Legend!”

Lake Lanier Fishing Secrets Revealed [Kindle Edition]

Bill Vanderford (Author, Photographer)

If you want to go, it’s time to make your spring time plans!

For more about my long time friend Bill Vanderford as well as his accomplishments, his freshwater charter trips or wildlife tours, books written and his special line up of tackle offered, please visit his site for all the details! For more details go

Little Miss Judy’s Believe It or Not!
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My father Captain Sherman I Helmey and a friend’s dog!


My father has always been a lot of fun to be around. For one thing you never actually knew what he might do next. There was this one thing that he did and I can’t ever remember being prepared for this “DOG-GONE” trick.

He would do this while he was driving in his car. If he happened to have to stop at a traffic light, which put him next to a bus stop this was his cue. However someone had to be waiting for the bus. He would push the electric window switch and his windows would quietly open. As soon as it opened he would make this noise that would have scared anyone. This would even include the passengers in the car, which usually happened to be me, Captain Judy. He could bark exactly like a dog. I am not talking about a small one, but a real LARGE MAD ONE! I don’t have to tell you what happened when this noise came screaming out of the car. Everyone included me jumped. He seemed to get a big kick out of it. This action by him made him “SMILE LIKE AN OLD CHEESY CAT!” For those of you who don’t know that old saying please try to picture this. A large big headed fat cat, sitting on it’s rear end with a smile that covers its entire face.

The bad news is that I never really knew what the waiters at the bus stops thought about it. It was hard hearing much less reading their lips with their backs to me. “No Riders Today!”

Thanks for reading! Captain Judy

Captain Judy Helmey

912 897 4921

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